5 cute and easy cardigan knitting patterns 

If you’re looking for a good knitting pattern for this time of year, why don’t you try to knit a cardigan? The perfect piece of clothing for these unpredictable spring months. These cardigan patterns are so cute and beginner friendly if you’re just getting started. In this blog post, we’ll share our 5 favorite cardigan knitting patterns for beginners. There’s multiple different designs to choose from, so that you can pick the right pattern that suits you and your style.

Cardigans are perfect for layering, and great to throw over your t-shirt on a cold day or drape over your shoulders when the sun starts shining. Additionally, they’re not as hard to knit as you might originally think! Finding the right pattern and a style you genuinely love, might be slightly more challenging – that is why we have compiled 5 cute and beginner-friendly cardigan patterns in this blog post. We also share our best tips when it comes to knitting a cardigan, to make the process as smooth as possible for you.

How to knit a cardigan

A cardigan can be knitted in multiple different ways and methods, whether that be top-down or bottom-up. If you go for a top-down pattern, it will all be knitted in one piece, resulting in a completely seamless cardigan. This construction also allows you to try the piece on throughout the process, so you can alter the length of the body and arms accordingly. If you decide to go for a pattern that is bottom-up, then the pieces (being arms and body) are knitted individually and then sewn together, often using the mattress stitch. The result isn’t quite as seamless, but a lot of people like this look. Therefore, how to knit a cardigan largely depends on the pattern you have decided on. People have personal preferences, that is why we have included multiple different pattern examples in this blogpost, some bottom-up and others top-down. It is also worth noting that if you’re used to knitting a sweater, you knit that in the round, whereas with cardigans you knit back and forth. So one row is knit and one row is purl, this could be slightly more time consuming, but for the result it is worth it!

Cardigan knitting patterns

Enjoy this collection of cardigan knitting patterns. Hope you get inspired:

Colorfluff cardigan tiktok edition

Look at this fluffy, colorful and soft mohair cardigan! This cardigan is knitted on chunky needles, with a lush mohair yarn, and is knitted from the bottom-up using a double thread. Along the way, you divide it into a back piece, right front piece, and left front piece. These are knitted separately to the same length before using a mattress stitch to sew the shoulders together. Then, you pick up stitches for the sleeves on each side. These simple techniques make it a super beginner friendly pattern. This is such a fun and colorful cardigan, that is a must-have for the colder summer nights. It is also a great way of using up scrap yarn you have lying around.

Yarn weight: Bulky / Chunky

Suggested yarn: Bella by Permin

Needle size: Size 12 mm, US size 17

Candy cardigan

If you prefer a seamless top-down pattern that you can try on along the way, then this cardigan is for you. This light and fluffy cardigan is a perfect transitional piece. Throw it on over anything and everything. This simple and beginner-friendly cardigan knitting pattern is knit from the top down with no seaming. Perfect for using up mohair scraps, make it in bright or pastels to brighten up your day or go for monochrome for a minimalist and elegant look. 

Yarn weight: Yarn held together: Lace + Lace = Bulky (7 wpi)

Suggested yarn: Kidsilk Yarn or alternative Mohair yarns.

Needle size: 9 mm, US size 13

Scandi Cardi

ScandiCardi is the lightest and easiest cardigan in Klin Cocos’s collection. It is oversized, very fluffy, and feels super soft and warm. Perfect all year round! Because it is so oversized, it can almost double as a jacket. This super easy and quick pattern is great for beginner knitters. The cardigan is knitted from the bottom up using double thread. Along the way, you divide it into a back piece, right front piece, and left front piece. These are knitted separately to the same length before using mattress stitch to sew the shoulders together. Then, you pick up stitches for the sleeves on each side and finish off by knitting these in the round. 

Yarn weight: Bulky / Chunky

Suggested yarn: Bella by Permin

Needle size: Size 12 mm, US size 17

Ruke fluffy cardigan

The Ruke fluffy cardigan is an oversized hip-length garment with balloon sleeves, perfect for beginners. No shoulder seams are necessary, as it is knitted all in one piece. The front band is then added once the body is complete. Then, the sleeves are worked, and two side seams complete the stylish sweater, ideal to pair with a variety of styles at home or away. This isn’t as chunky as the other examples, but still knitted on a rather larger needle, making it a fun project. This timeless and trendy cardigan will definitely become a wardrobe staple.

Yarn weight: Yarn held together: Bulky + Lace = Super Bulky

Suggested yarn: Laines du Nord, Alpaca Brushed and Filcolana, Tilia

Needle size: 7.0 mm, US size 10-11

Gretha cardigan

This cute, oversized and fluffy cardigan is a perfect beginner project on rather chunky needles. We love the fun stripes that add a playful touch to your wardrobe. The relaxed fit ensures a comfort, while being stylish and great for layering. The drop-shoulder is also a great touch!

Yarn weight: Super Bulky / Super Chunky

Suggested yarn: Dale myk påfugl

Needle size: 9 mm, US size 13

Chunky and oversized cardigan knitting pattern

The chunky knit trend is definitely something we can get behind, and we absolutely love chunky cardigans – I just recently knitted the Scandi Cardi myself. The fun thing about chunky knits is that they often go very quickly and their trendy, cozy feel makes them a great wardrobe staple.

Oversized cardigans are trending due to their comfort and versatility. Knitting with big needles not only speeds up the process but also makes this project fun and beginner-friendly. These cardigans are also super cool and can be styled in various ways to suit different occasions.

Long cardigan knitting pattern

There are definitely many longer cardigan patterns available as well, if you’re willing to take on that challenge! With that said, if you’re knitting a cardigan top-down you can freely adjust the pattern to your desired length. This is what is so great about making your own clothes, you can just adjust anything according to preference. This flexibility makes it easier to personalize the cardigan, whether you prefer a cropped look or a longer cardigan. This is a great little knitting hack, as there are definitely more short cardigan patterns on the market.

Colorful cardigans

These colorful cardigans are a great way of using up scrap yarn to create fun pieces that are perfect for summer. Adding a pop of color to your wardrobe through these pieces, will enhance your style and bring some joy to your overall knitting experience.

Knitting cardigan pattern

There are many patterns out there to choose from, when selecting your patterns it is important to keep a couple of factors in mind:

Your preferred construction method: What construction and technique suits your style and skill level?

Skill level: Make sure that the pattern matches your knitting proficiency so that you can enjoy the process, rather than get frustrated.

Desired aesthetic: Choose a pattern that aligns with the kind of expression you want.

Is it possible to knit a cardigan as a beginner?

Absolutely! Just make sure to choose a pattern that is relatively easy and beginner-friendly, any of the above will work. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when searching for a simple cardigan knitting pattern:

  • Needle size: Preferably chunky needles (8 – 12 mm).  Make the knitting experience manageable and enjoyable.
  • Simple designs: Look for patterns made from basic pieces that are sewn together, minimizing complex shaping.
  • Basic techniques:  Look for patterns that use primarily stockinette or garter stitch to build confidence.
  • Chunky and oversized styles are more beginner-friendly, it can be challenging to get the gauge spot on as a beginner – then it’s nice to have patterns and designs that are a bit more forgiving. Luckily, oversized and chunky knits are super trendy!

If a cardigan is not quite your style, you can knit any of these beginner-friendly sweater patterns.

Basic knitting techniques

These are the commonly used techniques when knitting a cardigan:

  • Stockinette stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • Cast on and cast off:  This is essential for starting and finishing your work smoothly.
  • Mattress stitch: For assembling the cardigan pieces together when knitting bottom-up, many great tutorials online and in our app.
  • Increases and decreases: To shape your cardigan effectively.

Tips and tricks when knitting a cardigan

If you’re still a bit uncertain about getting started, here are a couple of more tips when knitting a cardigan:

Choose a pattern that suits you and your skill level:

Luckily, most designers make sure to include the skill level in the pattern description, making this job a lot easier for you. Additionally, if you’ve been inspired by this blog post, the patterns included in this would be suitable for a beginner knitter.

Try looking for techniques you are familiar with, and don’t venture out on a pattern that is way beyond your skill level. If you’re a more advanced knitter, it may be suitable to find a pattern with more challenging techniques, to keep you interested and engaged in the process.


This is perhaps considered a boring task, however it is crucial. I know the feeling, you just want to get started, not waste your time knitting a test swatch. However, in the future you will appreciate it. Every fiber artist has its own knitting style and gauge, it is also very common for beginners to knit very tightly, making the piece much smaller than intended. to ensure the best and right fit, knit that swatch prior to starting!

Read the pattern:

This part may seem straightforward, however one can easily get excited and forget this crucial step. If you make sure to thoroughly read through, prior to starting, you’ll have no unexpected (negative) surprises along the way. What a nightmare, being halfway through a pattern, and not being familiar with half of the techniques. 

Try it on:

This trick definitely depends on the construction of the cardigan, and may be more suitable if you’re knitting your cardigan top-down. A great thing about making your own clothes, is that you can tailor them accordingly, and ensure the best possible fit. Try it on, hold it up and adjust if need be.

Block your knits:

The very last tip we have is to “block” or wash your knits after completion. This helps setting the shape and evening out your work, in some cases, it’s unrecognizable (in a good way) after blocking.

We hope you found some inspiration for your next knitting project in this blogpost.  Whether you’re a beginner or looking to try something new, the patterns and tips shared here should help on the way. Remember, if you want any of these patterns, you get unlimited access to all of these patterns and many more in the Knit&Note library – upgrade here. If you’re a beginner, we hope some of these tips can come in handy when knitting your very first cardigan. Happy knitting!

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